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Grief Healing: In Grief: Is Dad Dating Too Soon after Mom’s Death?

My Mom Has An Affair And My Father Doesn't Care!

I am having a really hard time coming to terms with my mother dating after my father's death, and how it has changed her. I am 34, her oldest of 5 kids, with 3 boys of my own, and after some recent events, I am truly worried about the future of this family and am at a loss of what to do. And I apologize in advance for writing such a long post here, but I just want to share a little background into my situation, as it all has a bearing on how I am dealing with or not all of this. My father passed away almost a year ago now, on Jan. At the time of his diagnosis, we were told this was a non-terminal type of cancer, and he was expected to react well to treatments which he did, at first. However, I found out later that he did get a terminal diagnosis, with less than 1 year expectancy, but chose not to tell the family. When My Parent Passed Away

The same goes for fathers, of course. I understood these things about my mother and, in theory, supported all the hypotheticals that followed. But there is a difference between understanding something in theory, and handling it in reality. A big difference. When my mother told me, delicately and respectfully, that she was seeing someone, I surprised myself when I lost connection to mission control completely.

I flipped. If my life were the movie Gravity, I would be George Clooney, a corpse farting off in space somewhere near the Hubble Telescope. Losing it is part of the process, by the way. Losing it is okay. I feel fine now, for the most part. In January, my mom told me she was spending time with someone. I think that was her very delicate way of saying she had gone on a few dates with another human man.

That was fine. What I should have realized then, however, is that our parents are a lot older than us. Their definition of dating is probably different and probably a lot less casual. She was very open about her situation, and recognized that the timing might be tough for me, but it still hit me right square in the chest. I was not able to push the wind back into my sails so quickly, and I said some terrible things to my mother.

Bless her that given my extensive and well-documented history of freak-outs, she somehow still loves me. It might sound corny, but knowing your parents love you is key while dealing with this; that fact transcends all else and should stay at the forefront of your brain at all times.

Have compassion yourself. To her credit, my mother is very understanding. She constantly asks me to tell her my concerns. Then I realize, hey, that might be kind of cool. Processing happens over time; you just have to be open to it.

It might feel super obvious, but oddly enough, sometimes obvious things need to be said the most. Of course she loves you, but it helps to be reminded. The not-so-obvious things are important, too. The fact that my mother can be out there looking for a new relationship should be a testament to the one she had with my father.

Take it slow yourself. Ask questions.

A reader writes: My mother passed away last May and Dad started dating again three months after mom's death. He is now serious with a lady. That is exactly how much your widowed parent (and his or her significant lost one parent, and feel your surviving parent pulling away from the family into a have fallen into a new normal for your family after the death of your other parent. This new person dating your mom or dad will not fill those shoes. Now, my father has revealed that he began a sexual relationship with the nurse shortly after my mother died. I feel the nurse betrayed her.

Asking questions is key. I thought that would make it easier. I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong. The guy my mom is seeing? He also lost his spouse unexpectedly last year.

And they were also married for a very long time. He has kids, too! Four of them.

He also has grandkids! He and my mom have a lot in common, and knowing that was comforting. I can relate in that I have forged a handful of deep and meaningful relationships over the past nine months with people who have also lost their parents. So I can translate that to feeling comforted that my mom is not alone, even if this relationship fizzles out at some point.

In many ways, the past 10 months or so of my life have felt like a never-ending trial by fire. But I have found that wading through the suck swamp of real-life events and uncomfortable milestones is easier if you approach it with an open heart. Give yourself time!

Give yourself space!

A few weeks after he passed away, my mom went to visit her sister in Seattle for some much needed, and deserved, R & R. She certainly. My beloved mother died two years ago from cancer. Knowing that he would probably date or even remarry eventually, I enjoyed having my father to What was the harm in believing my parents were away on vacation?. My mom passed away about seven months ago - the grief process has been really hard, but I just felt like I was starting to be able to breathe.

Talk to people. Look for friends who have been through a similar situation to you, or have ways in which they can relate. When they came over for dinner that night, she showed me her whole slideshow of pictures from the cruise, the portraits they got done together same poses and backgrounds as with my dadand told us all about how much fun they had. I tried to act happy for her, but it was extremely awkward and I really didn't know how to react at all. It's like she was just shoving all of this in my face and expecting me to be overjoyed for her.

It didn't really hit me until after that, but it's like she has literally filled the space that my father left with this new guy, and is clinging to him like her very existence depends on him. Every time I or any of my siblings have tried to call her, she is never home no matter the day of week or time of dayand she was hardly ever there for us.

Instead, she was out watching one of his bowling tournaments usually out of statecamping, fishing, or other activities, with him.

Since Mom died, my dad doesn't seem to care about his kids

Always with him. Every single weekend and weekday night. It wasn't uncommon to get a call back from her the next day, saying she just got back from Texas and was staying at his house so couldn't reach me.

This, from the woman whose family was everything to her, and would do anything for her children and grandchildren. I completely understand that she needs to live her own life, experience new things, and be happy. But that should not be at the expense of everyone who loves her.

After losing Dad, we needed her more than ever, but it feels like we lost both parents. After her being so attentive to Dad and unavailable to us a lot of the time during his illness quite understandablyI was looking forward to "getting my mom back" after he died, and being able to spend some quality time together. That ended up not being the case. By the time he died, she was ready to move on, leaving the rest of us in the dust behind, to pick up the pieces ourselves.

Before Thanksgiving, my sister and I decided to get together with her and all the siblings at my house for dinner since we couldn't beforeand talk to her about how we were feeling about everything.

All 3 of us girls felt the same, but we didn't realize it until we started talking about it. We told her how we felt, that she seemed to be separated from the family, never without him by her side, and we had not been able to get her alone to spend time with her at all, which we so desperately needed. I was not about to go to that level and literally list out petty little things like phone calls on certain dates, etc. We tried to explain that we were still grieving Dad's loss, and we need to experience all of these "firsts" throughout the year without him, and experience that "empty space" in our lives in order to come to terms with it and accept it.

By immediately filling that whole with someone else sitting in Dad's place, holding her hand, dancing with her at my brother's wedding, joining in ALL the family holidays and events, going on vacations, etc. This was a family tradition ever since I could remember, but this would be our last trip, as my gr-uncle would be moving to a retirement community. We were really looking forward to finally getting Mom to ourselves for these 5 days, so we could just take it easy, play some games, go hiking in the woods, reminisce, etc.

But then she told us that she wanted to bring him along, so she would have someone to share it with. That was a kick in the gut to all of us. Just made it sound like we weren't good enough, and she would be miserable there without him.

She asked who she could take walks with and hold hands with while she was there. I answered, through my tears, "Your grandsons!

My mom passed away and my dad is dating

We mainly just wanted her to know how painful this is for us to see her with him all the time, and to understand that we were still grieving, still heavily depressed and missing our dad, and still trying to come to terms with this enormous hole he left behind. We understood that she has already accepted it and moved on, but we need our mother to help us through this.

At the end of our "meeting," we were all in tears, and although it was very cathartic, she made us feel like we were being selfish and telling her what to do; she had put up a defensive wall and didn't really "hear" anything we had said. She still took him to Thanksgiving, spent most of her time secluded with him or always at his side, and spent hardly any time with us or her grandsons.

He was there at her house on Christmas day for the family dinner, opening presents, etc. Turns out, she spent the night at his house Christmas Eve, then rushed home to start making dinner before anyone arrived.

Her cousin had moved in with her after Dad died to keep her company, so she told me this before Christmas. Mom never did mention this to anyone, and was just keeping it a secret from everyone. If she thought there was nothing wrong with it, why all the secrecy?? For New Year's Eve, I wanted to try and keep some kind of "normalcy" and come over to her house like we usually did every year, to play games and watch movies, then make breakfast the next morning and spend the day together.

That sounded great, so we came over to her house around 6 that evening, and he was there of coursein the middle of replacing double-doors from the kitchen to the back porch, so the house was absolutely freezing, and we were secluded to a small space in the living room.

My kids were freezing with their coats onstarving no food, and we couldn't go to the party until 9so we ordered a pizza, which my husband had to go get.

About a year after my mom's death my dad started dating a woman whom the death of his wife he turns not toward but away from the family. I was not able to push the wind back into my sails so quickly, and I said some terrible things to my mother. “Dad's dead, but he's not that dead,”. My father's now girlfriend was a friend of the family before my mom's death and Within 2 months after my mom died they were dating and a serious item most of my late wife's things were either packed up or given away to.

My youngest 2 usually go to bed around ish, so had to put them to bed there had the doors in, and house was warmer by that time, at leastthen wait around to go to the party. My mom's cousin volunteered to stay at the house with the kids in bed. We had planned to take them with us and lay them down there. Once at the party, we had a lot of fun playing games and visiting, and finally got back to my mom's house around 2am. As my oldest is about to get in bed, she tells me that she is leaving with him and will spend the night at his house over an hour away so she can go to a bowling tournament with him the next morning, on New Year's Day.

Tips for When Your Widowed Parent Begins to Date

I was in complete and utter shock. I didn't even know what to say. I just kind of waived my hands in disbelief and walked away to get ready for bed. I went straight to bed, and didn't say another word to her.

Earlier in the evening, we were talking about some things we could do with her the next day, like watch a movie, play some new games the kids got for Christmas, etc. It took me a couple of hours to fall asleep, I was so mad.

I was physically shaking and sick to my stomach. I got up with the kids, made pancakes for breakfast, visited with Aunt Cheryl her cousin some, and then we just went home.

I'm not upset that he's dating, I'm sad that he found my mom's replacement .. My mom passed away in and about two years later my dad.

Not how I was expecting to spend this day. Oh, and the kicker?

She's putting the house up for sale, so this was the last Christmas, New Year, etc. That was basically the last straw for me. I've just completely given up on being able to depend on her for anything, or to be able to openly talk to her about anything. Then, just this morning Jan.

What an awesome way to start the new year, huh? She has always been my best friend, someone I would rather spend time with than anyone in the world, other than my husband.

Two of my siblings are adopted and come from very turbulent backgrounds, but she took them in and became their mom. She helped out all of us kids through college and beyond in any way she could, and absolutely adores all 4 of her grandkids. But since meeting this new guy, she is not the same person. I just have no clue how to react to her now. How am I supposed to believe anything she says, or if she is spending time with us because she really wants to, or just out of guilt?

My sisters have each tried talking to her, we talked to her as a group, her cousin has talked to her, etc. Has anyone else been through a similar situation? Anyone have any advice on where to go from here? I want to say I am sorry for the loss of your dad and that you are hurting. You've come to a good place here, we have suffered losses and understand these situations.

You seem to feel your mom's seeing this man is a personal affront to you and your family and that she is doing something wrong against your dad. That is not the case. Your dad is gone. You kids have your own lives, whereas she is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life. Would you rather she stay home draw the curtains, pour over old photographs and cry all day?

It is up to her to decide how best to create a life for her. I would imagine if the family embraced her new gentleman and got to know and appreciate him for who he is rather than feeling he is displacing your dad and resenting them for it, she might spend more time with the family, grandkids, etc. She's not going to be where she is made to feel uncomfortable. Your mom IS a new person, your dad's death changed that.

Once we are hit with a loss such as that, we are no longer the same person. I can't tell you how hard it is to lose your husband, harder than anything. She may be trying to avoid some grief, and fill a void that your dad left, but by the same token, as someone who was his caretaker, she watched him die little by little and cared for him and that is when her grieving began!

It is called anticipatory grief and it jump starts the grief process, so that the grief process for her did not begin on the actual day he died, but beforehand. You said yourself that you didn't notice these changes because you were away and busy As it is, I dare say, the man she is seeing will not fully eliminate her grief You can't compare your loss with hers, they were different relationships In the same way, you cannot compare the way you cope with grief to the way she does.

Each person's grief journey is unique. It's affected by quality and length of relationship, personal coping skills, personality, etc. Your mom might not be so afraid to talk to you kids if you would be less judgmental and more open to her, genuinely happy for her.

Saying you are happy for someone should not be followed with a "but", which negates it, but should be happy It seems you have constructed a black and white view of the situation where it's all one way or another. We aren't here to control someone else, or judge them, but to love and appreciate them for who they are and try to understand what they are going through. Your mom's not telling you about spending the night with her man friend does not mean she thought it was wrong, it infers she didn't think it was your business That her roommate would "tell on her" was wrong and I wouldn't encourage her gossip, she'd talk about you behind your back too.

If you continue to have problems with your mom and the situation does not improve, I'd encourage you to see a grief counselor to help you through it.

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